The counter-revolutionary Gulf strategy has opened a window on potential differences not only between Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain on the one hand and Qatar on the other but also within the conservative counter-revolutionary camp itself.
For the past eight years the Iranian regime has been trying to punish a religious leader, Ayatollah Kazemani Boroujerdi, for the crime of expressing "anti-government views." Boroujerdi is a senior member of the Shia clergy and an advocate for separation of religion and state.
It's important to not forget how fortunate some of us are. It's equally important to not forget what happened to Atefah and what's happening to a multitude of children in Iran. If we forget, we declare our complacency with the human rights situation in Iran.
Behind the façade of a united front against the Islamic State the United States and its Gulf allies blame each other for the spectacular rise of the jihadist group that has overrun a swathe of Syria and Iraq.
President Barack Obama is a deliberate man, and he will act decisively when the time is right. His words were steel from Europe on the execution of Steven Sotloff: "We will not forget. Our reach is long. Justice will be served." So buckle in for the long ride folks.
We must resist the temptation to conflate technical and legalistic questions with the political and strategic questions that are the true stakes in this decade-long crisis. Succumbing to a very similar temptation about Iraq's WMD programs helped draw us into war there.
As states, Saudi Arabia and Israel share few, if any common values, despite some cultural values that are common to Wahhabism, the austere form of Islam adopted by the kingdom, and ultra-orthodox Jews. But they increasingly have common interests.
When the Islamic Republic first took control of Iran from the Shah, the new regime decided population growth would be greatly in its advantage. After all, it was faced with a bloody war with neighboring Iraq.
Despite the minimal protections for victims of drug use and the Islamic Republic's typical manner of glossing over their domestic problems, Iran spends approximately one billion dollars per year on anti-drug operations.
We Jewish Israelis--and people from the West in general--tend to forget that there are actually human beings living in Iran, with normal desires to lead healthy family lives, not to mention "reformers" who would like to change Iranian policy and society for the better.
Iran must now cope with the new reality, which may well explain why Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons and why its efforts in this regard will set Israel further apart from Tehran, rather than bring them together to form an unholy axis.
Monday could go down in history as the day we took our first step toward a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran that prevents the country from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon. But the peaceful resolution of international concerns about Iran's nuclear program is hardly assured.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the hopes in 2011 of a new dawn sparked by the toppling of autocratic leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen were little more than pie in the sky. Nevertheless, the genie of inevitable change has been let out of the bottle.
The new ideological polarity in the Middle East may no longer be between Iran and everybody else. It is now more about looking backward or forward in shaping future governance. In fact, the major new polarity may now be between two erstwhile US allies -- Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
If the Obama administration feels that there is even a faint chance to reach a lasting agreement with Iran, President Obama can improve the odds by insisting on a few conditions and satisfy itself and its allies that it has done all it could to prevent the military option.
If all goes well, the preliminary agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council would ensure the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program and ultimately reintegrate it into the international community.